UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University women's cross country team will aim to extend its stretch of dominance when it opens the 2017 season at the Indiana Wesleyan Invite on Friday. TU has won the Crossroads League Championship and finished inside the top-20 at NAIA Nationals in each of the past four years.
"We are excited to embrace this season and see what God has in store for us," stated eighth-year head coach Quinn White. "We enter this season with the goals of running with joy, maximizing our gifts, competing with hunger and humility and being one in spirit and purpose. We hope to compete for the Crossroads League title again and we know it will be a good challenge. We also hope to run at the national meet and leave knowing that we competed well."
The Taylor program has reached new heights under White's guidance, posting a 385-18 regular season mark in the past four seasons with 11 team victories in 22 regular season races during that time. White will enter his eighth season at the helm of program with an .858 win percentage and a career mark of 555-92.
Taylor posted a regular season head-to-head mark of 101-7 last year and raced to a 19th-place finish at the NAIA National Championships. The Trojans return 16 letterwinners from that squad, including six-of-seven competitors from nationals. The stacked roster is further bolstered by the infusion of a strong incoming class, which includes seven freshmen and one NCAA Division I sophomore transfer.
TU enters the year boasting seven individuals who have previously earned all-league honors. That group consists of 2016 All-Crossroads League standouts Mae Elizabeth Gimre, Taylor Bluemel, Rachel Blagg and Michelle Franch, 2015 All-Crossroads Leaguers Alex Berends and Andi Foster and 2016 All-Big South performer, Valerie Wierenga, who joins the program after running for Liberty one year ago.
No. 14 Taylor will open the season on Friday at IWU, when it hits the course at 5:00 pm.